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Cowboys' Stephen Jones 'Very Confident' Mike McCarthy Will Return Despite 49ers Loss

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured Columnist IVJanuary 18, 2022

Tom Pennington/Getty Images

Dallas Cowboys head coach Mike McCarthy received a major vote of confidence on Monday, a day after his team's disappointing 23-17 loss to the San Francisco 49ers in the Wild Card Round.

“Absolutely," Cowboys executive vice president Stephen Jones said on 105.3 The Fan when asked if he believed McCarthy would return as head coach in 2022, per Jon Machota of The Athletic. "Very confident.”

After 13 seasons as the Green Bay Packers head coach (2006-18) that included a Super Bowl title and nine playoff appearances, McCarthy was hired by the Cowboys in the 2020 season. 

The team went 6-10 and missed the playoffs last year, though quarterback Dak Prescott's season-ending leg injury played a major part in that outcome. This year, the Cowboys were the No. 3 seed in the NFC playoffs after a 12-5 regular season. 

Although the Niners were a dangerous team to draw in the Wild Card Round, the Cowboys were three-point favorites. However, they came up short after calling a quarterback draw with just seconds remaining and no timeouts while down six.

The Cowboys failed to snap the ball on the next play before time expired, ending a poor overall performance with a head-scratching sequence.

NFL @NFL

What a way to end the game! <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/SuperWildCard?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#SuperWildCard</a> <a href="https://t.co/esKKpbkrQn">pic.twitter.com/esKKpbkrQn</a>

The team's overall performance and that decision on the final play were widely criticized after the contest:

Dan Hanzus @DanHanzus

The Cowboys did roughly 7,000 things wrong on Sunday -- it was only fitting they messed up four different ways on the final play. <a href="https://t.co/b6wVQktbmt">https://t.co/b6wVQktbmt</a>

Dan Patrick Show @dpshow

"There's no way you can tell me that you practiced that play."<br><br>-DP reacts to the <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Cowboys?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Cowboys</a> Final Drive <a href="https://t.co/nvXNraiVx5">pic.twitter.com/nvXNraiVx5</a>

Chris Simms @CSimmsQB

Coaches I've worked with...Josh McDaniels, Jon Gruden, Bill Belichick...17 or 18 seconds was the line of demarcation for being able to get a play down the middle and still spike the ball. Cowboys doing it with 14 seconds shows they don't know the mechanics of that play.

Jeff Howe @jeffphowe

General rule in NFL, if you're trying to run a play then spike it, you need 16 seconds on the clock. Cowboys had 14. Dak then left the ball on the turf rather than handing to the official, which led to an imperfect spot. Pre-play, can't assume a perfect operation w/minimal time.

The Cowboys have won a grand total of three playoff games this century, all in the Wild Card Round. They haven't appeared in the NFC Championship Game or Super Bowl since 1995. They've won the NFC East six times since 2000, three fewer than their rivals, the Philadelphia Eagles. 

Since last winning a Super Bowl, they've watched the New York Giants win two titles and reach the big game three times, while the Eagles have also won a Super Bowl and played in two. 

It's fair to question if McCarthy is the right man to lead the Cowboys back to the prominence they held in the early '90s. Sunday's showing cast major doubts in that regard, though he still appears to have the backing of the front office. 

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